Well, after 10 days of immigration woes, funneling money to Juarez (I actually think that's why this process takes so long, Juarez needs the money)-- Tiffany, Jose and Eduardo, Jose's 15 year old son who is immigrating with them, have finally left Juarez.
It's kinda ironic that they make everyone with family-type Visas go to Ciudad Juarez, what with all the murders down there!!! Knowing the dangerousness of this town, made it hard for me to not dwell on the risks down there, and hard for me to concentrate on anything else.
This long wait reminded me of our 10 day teacher's strike in '89. We didn't know then either what was gonna happen day by day, there was a lot of misinformation and then no information, money concerns, anxiety and interminable waiting then too, also involving redtape. Tiffany and Jose were fearful and anxious and basically hung out in their hotel room, with Eduardo. What fun!!
They expected to be out of there last Saturday, the 24th of August. But after they had their physicals on the 22nd and passed OK, they then went to get in line at the American Consulate last Friday the 23rd for the interview, An "official" was there telling them that the consulate was closed due to "Administrative reasons". No more information was given, and it was impossible to locate any other "live" people to find out anything.
That same day about 10 people were shot down, although I don't know if the killings or warnings of killings had anything to do with the Consulate closing. I went to my congressman's office but they were not able to find anything out either, and basically not interested in my condemnation of the process.
So finally after a grueling weekend wait, they had their interview Monday afternoon. Tiffany said there were about 5000 numbers given out that day. They were finally interviewed late Monday afternoon, after getting in line about 5:00 a.m., that the visa would be granted, BUT that they would have to keep checking on the Internet to see when the paperwork was ready to be picked up and that it usually took one to four days.
Guess what? It took four days. They finally picked it up Thursday morning, and were able to get a flight outta there, arriving to their home at 1:00 a.m. Friday morning. They talked to some people who had been waiting 10 days JUST FOR THE PAPERWORK TO BE PROCESSED, so at least they only had to wait 10 days total.
After all this, I can understand why we have so many illegal aliens--they make it nearly impossible to immigrate here legally! The transportation costs, fees for filing paperwork, and the room and board costs, airline change fees, while you're forced to wait out the red tape, are huge!!
I give Tiffany a lot of credit for processing these forms herself--she only went to one initial consultation while she was working in El Paso, and then kept careful records herself. They did hire a Mexican lawyer for the custody part, involving Eduardo. I guess her college education helped her with something!
(Names have been changed to protect the innocent.)